Nothing political about Raut’s visit, says Pawar

NCP chief calls BJP childish for delaying government formation in State

Published - November 02, 2019 12:49 am IST - Mumbai

Sharad Pawar

Sharad Pawar

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Friday said there was nothing political about his meeting with Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday night.

“Our meeting was not political. It was to exchange Deepavali greetings,” said Mr. Pawar, who is touring Nashik to assess the crop losses suffered by farmers owing to unseasonal rain. Mr. Pawar called the BJP ‘childish’ for delaying government formation in the State.

Neither the NCP nor the Sena confirmed reports that Mr. Pawar and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had a telephonic conversation during Mr. Raut’s visit.

With the BJP finding it difficult to form the government on its own, despite receiving support from a few Independents, the NCP and the Congress are reportedly willing to back the Sena to form the government. Leaders of both opposition parties have hinted that they may extend support to the Sena if the party approaches them.

Meanwhile, the meeting of senior Congress leaders with party president Sonia Gandhi continued till late Friday night. The leaders called on her to seek her opinion on supporting the Sena. According to sources, the party high command is not in favour of backing the Sena and the message has been conveyed to the State leadership.

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